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Greek Premier: Paris meeting was a “positive development”
2006-03-08 14:48:35

by Christa Nicolaou

Athens, Mar 8 (CNA) -The developments and prospects of the Cyprus issue were at the centre of discussions during a meeting here Wednesday in Athens between Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.

''In the framework of our continuous cooperation and regular contacts we had today with President Papadopoulos the opportunity to examine thoroughly the latest developments on issues that concern us'', the Greek Prime Minister said during a press conference with Papadopoulos at the end of their talks at Maximos Palace.

He added ''we analyzed the present situation on the Cyprus problem and its prospects in the light of the recent meeting with the UN Secretary General in Paris''.

Karamanlis also said the Paris meeting was “particularly important”, noting it was a “positive development in the right direction and a step in the framework of the positions we have repeatedly pointed out”.

Analyzing these positions, he said the “resumption of the negotiations should be done with very careful steps and on the basis of a well prepared procedure without arbitration, suffocating timeframes” adding ''we do not the luxury to have another failure''.

Karamanlis repeated that the solution which will ensue must agree with the relevant UN decisions and should take into consideration the new facts created with Cyprus' accession to the European Union.

''The Republic of Cyprus has shown once again that it remains dedicated to accomplishing a comprehensive just and viable solution. It is up to the Turkish side now to show the appropriate spirit of cooperation'', he said.

Karamanlis noted he discussed with President Papadopoulos “our next actions in the European Union” reminding that in the European framework there was a very positive development, the recent adoption of the financial regulation for the Turkish Cypriots after a proposal by the Austrian Presidency, which contains the points Nicosia is most interested in.

As far as Turkey's accession EU course is concerned, Karamanlis pointed out the obligations Turkey has undertaken in a European level noting that “these are clear and the European Union is waiting for their fulfillment”.

On his part, President Papadopoulos expressed his appreciation for Greece’s steady and valuable support, not only in achieving a just and viable solution but also at all procedural measures required at the United Nations and in the European Union.

Responding to a question about the implementation of the Ankara Agreement, President Papadopoulos said there is the decision of the European Union that during 2006 and after the Commission’s report, there will be a review of Turkey’s attitude.

“It is an issue that concerns the EU as a whole, the measures it can take”, he added.

''Our strategy is to enlighten and convince Turkey should fulfill the obligations undertaken towards the European Union, and of course towards Cyprus'', Papadopoulos added.

Responding to a question whether the Cypriot government has made any representations to the US on the issue of trade with the Turkish Cypriot side, President Papadopoulos said “it is the firm policy of the US, and my opinion is they wrongly believe that reunification will come with direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots. Their position, however, does not seem to be supported by others”.

To a question to Karamanlis if Greece agrees with the Cypriot president’s tactics during his meeting with the Secretary General, the Greek Premier replied that “we are in complete coordination and cooperation and this continues and will continue”.

He expressed the view that his meeting with President Papadopoulos “lays down the foundation for a more careful approach to reach the desired result”.

Earlier Wednesday President Papadopoulos met his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias.

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